The Boilerplates Take On Vegas – 5 Takeaways From a Public Relations Conference

In late September, two members of KPS3’s public relations team, also known to us as The Boilerplates, attended the PRSA Western District Conference in Las Vegas intended for communications professionals on the Best Coast. The three-day event featured guest speakers, a dine around, and most important, in-person networking – something that was emphasized as a thing of nostalgia several times throughout the event. Suffice to say, we’re here to say that not everything that happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, as we wanted to share some of the key takeaways from the various breakout sessions and keynote speakers we listened to.

  1. If you aren’t including Reels in your social media strategy, you are doing yourself a disservice.

    Reels are short, entertaining videos you can publish on Instagram, meant to bring your brand or personality to life. Instagram is prioritizing Reels over any other content right now; meaning your followers are more likely to see your Reels before any other in-feed posts. These videos are designed for mobile since the majority of us look at our feeds on our phones. Oh, and Facebook is rolling out Reels as we speak.

    Many big brands and public figures are incorporating Reels into their monthly content planning. And because social media users thrive on organic, authentic content, these brands are creating fun, personality-filled videos without needing to tap an experienced videographer for filming and editing. The Lakers are tapping their players. Beauty influencers are giving advice from the beach. Our client, Firefly Tapas Kitchen, takes you behind the scenes. Apps like Splice and InShot are making it easier than ever before for you to create good-performing content.

  2. Everyone at every level of your organization is responsible for leadership.

    Eric Tosi, Chief Marketing Officer for the Vegas Golden Knights said it, and now we are going to hold ourselves accountable for it: It doesn’t matter if you are a coordinator, director, vice president or chairman of the board – everyone in your organization can and should be a leader. Close your eyes and think of someone who served as a role model in your career. Who are you picturing and why? Take their best qualities, and make them your own. Think of the person who will come after you and how you’ll want to instill your best lessons learned into theirs.

  3. 94% of journalists prefer you to pitch them via email.

    We often get asked to call newsrooms to pitch a story or follow up on one. There are many reasons why this is no longer the way it should be. In fact, according to a Muck Rack panel, over 65% of journalists DO NOT like phone pitches or calls, unless you have an existing relationship with them where you can call or text them.

    Email is the way to go. Better yet, early Monday morning is the preferred time frame. Checking email is usually the first thing journalists (and most of us) do every day, and Monday is when they are most likely planning their stories for the week. Remember to personalize your email pitches, avoid making them too lengthy, and ensure what you are pitching is timely.

  4. Make risk assessment part of everyone’s job.

    Crisis is, in most cases, preventable, with the right preparation. When working on a new campaign or initiative, show that you’ve looked into not only the benefits but the risks and consequences that could result from your work. The more you make this a habit, the more you subconsciously force your team to think through potential dangers, their impact and how to be prepared for consequences. That is, get people in the habit of doing the right thing to help manage reputation. Look for teachable examples, educate and set expectations to create a universal understanding of how something works or why something is being done.

  5. Schedule your next vacation.

    Everyone needs this reminder – USE YOUR PTO! Not only is it something you sign on to earn, but it is necessary to recharge your mind and body from work. PR professionals and marketing execs have some of the most stressful jobs, and it is no surprise that burnout has been a real thing. Even if all you do is clean the yard and go out to lunch, know when you are going to have the opportunity to put that out-of-office message on. Every single one of us needs the time away, and we owe it to nobody but ourselves to make it happen.

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